Florida Democrats Join Minimum Wage Challenge

MGN Online
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News Release: Florida Senate
Updated: April 8, 2014, 4:45pm

TALLAHASSEE— As Republican lawmakers continue to stall any action on raising the minimum wage, Florida Democrats who have joined Senator Dwight Bullard’s challenge to live on the meager income for a week will hold a press conference tomorrow to discuss their progress.

“For the everyday minimum wage workers putting in 40 hours, they’re still having difficulties putting food on the table each week,” Senator Bullard (D-Miami) stated. “It’s amazing to see how many of those who oppose any increase are afraid to accept the challenge to live for a week on the status quo. What are they so afraid of?”

Senator Bullard’s “Live for a Week on Minimum Wage” began this past Monday, when he and other Democratic lawmakers challenged opponents to his minimum wage bill to survive on the average minimum wage salary of $317 per week (before taxes). So far, none of the Republicans have accepted.

At the event on Wednesday Senator Bullard will be joined by Florida House Representatives Cynthia Stafford, Kionne McGhee, Shevrin Jones, Bobby Powell, Ricardo Rangel, Victor Manuel Torres Jr, and Jose Javier Rodrigues. All of them have been pushing for legislation, including Senator Bullard’s SB 456, raising the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 to be heard in this year’s legislative session. Just past the half-way point, however, neither the Republican-led Senate nor the Republican-led House have made any effort to hear the bills, despite overwhelming public support for the increase.

The press conference is scheduled for this ,b>Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 9am in the Capitol in front of Senate chambers.

News Release: Florida Senate

TALLAHASSEE—As Republican lawmakers continue to stall any action on raising the minimum wage in Florida, one Senate Democrat is challenging them to walk a mile in the shoes of millions of minimum wage earners they refuse to help.

Beginning next week, Senator Dwight Bullard (D-39) will live for 5 days on a typical weekly salary of minimum wage earners – approximately $317 before taxes. And he’s challenging his legislative colleagues to join him. “I can think of no greater matter of importance than someone's ability to work and earn a decent wage," Senator Bullard stated. "Let those who would deny it try to live on it for just a week. They need to realize that there are real life consequences from their inaction in Tallahassee.”

Earlier this year, Senator Bullard introduced SB 456 which would increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. As the legislative session hits the halfway point, neither the Republican-led Senate nor House have made any effort to hear the bill.

This will be second time Bullard has participated in the minimum wage for a week challenge. Last year, Bullard was joined by Broward County Commissioner Marty Kiar.

The minimum wage in Florida is currently $7.93. In January this year, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 73% of Floridians support a minimum wage increase, with support cutting across political and demographic groups.

The minimum wage challenge would require that individuals use roughly $200 on housing, $40 for groceries, and $60 for transportation miscellaneous needs. The minimum wage week challenge is scheduled to begin April 7th 2014.

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